2019 INDUCTEES >> RANDY CHESTERMAN
Category: Disc Jockey
Randy was born and raised in Dubuque, IA. His Grandfather was an avid music collector and introduced Randy to Buddy Holly and ‘50s Rock N Roll at a very early age. His older siblings were also influential in his taste and love of music.
In February of 1978 Darryl Hensley—aka the Mad Hatter—started KZEV, a radio station in Mason City. Randy was introduced to Darryl and mentioned to him on several
occasions that he would like to work for him as a DJ. Darryl wanted at least 5 years of experience from his DJs, and though Randy only had some high school experience, he was persistent with Darryl and assured him he could do the job. His tenacity paid off, and Randy was hired in April of 1978. He was on from Midnight to 6:00 am and in the mornings helped the Hatter with his show.
After a few months of working at KZEV, Randy, Darryl, and friends attended the Buddy Holly Story featuring Gary Busey at the Lake Theater in Clear Lake. After the show, discussion surrounded the idea of how to honor Buddy Holly in Clear Lake. Randy suggested a tribute concert at the Surf Ballroom. Shortly after, Darryl got things rolling by contacting Buddy Holly's brother and putting together a list of potential artists for the concert. Once the story of the concert got picked up by the Associated Press, things were in motion. Del Shannon, Jimmy Clanton, Niki Sullivan, The Drifters, the White Sidewalls were on board to perform the show and Wolfman Jack agreed to MC.
Randy started Oldies Night at Lu's Lounge in Clear Lake in 1980, becoming one of the biggest music nights in North Iowa. As a DJ at the station, Randy helped out with the Mad Hatters Tea Party/Sock Hop. He worked at KZEV until 1985. In 1990, Darrel Heins asked Randy if he would do a Friday Night Sock Hop for the Winter Dance Party Tribute at the Surf. He DJ’d this event until 2002. Presently, Randy DJ’s on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Lu's Lounge (now known as the Surf District Rock N Roll Grill), which he began doing in 1980.
Randy has met some of the finest music fans from all over the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia. Many of these fans have become dear friends as they come back each year to celebrate the music. Randy's experiences have also allowed him to meet and become friends with many of the Rock ‘n Roll Legends including Bobby Vee, Del Shannon, Niki Sullivan, and Wolfman Jack as some of his favorites!
His thoughts on his Hall of Fame honor? It’s great to be a part of something so good that has lasted so long; Rave on!